We had the good fortune of connecting with Dominique Donquel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Dominique, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting a business was something I’ve always dreamed wanted to accomplish. However, starting Lipstick And Smoke was definitely a surprise! Lipstick And Smoke was born when my girlfriends and I began our cigar smoking journey. We would meet for girls’ night out at a popular cigar lounge in Tampa, Florida named Davidoff. As we visited the spot, I would see men pulling out their cigar accessories. That is when I began to notice that there were no products being sold or carried by women that were feminine within the establishment. I started to search online to find my own pink cigar accessories because, I wanted to look good and still feel feminine while enjoying a great cigar. As I searched online and called different companies to see if they made accessories in pink; I realized that there were no feminine cigar accessories for women. The more I searched the more I ran across brown, blue, black, and grey cases targeted mostly for men. Therefore, I started talking to my friends about creating a line of cigar accessories for women. They were so excited and supportive. I felt it was time for women to have cigar accessories that would allow us to feel feminine while partaking in what most people considered masculine. During COVID I found that I had more time on my hands to research and create, that is how Lipstick And Smoke was born!

What should our readers know about your business?
Lipstick and Smoke is the first and only women’s cigar accessory brand. We are not just selling cigar accessories but we are a brand that empowers women to embrace their femininity when indulging in smoking cigars. We want to give woman that are bold, sexy and classy enough to smoke cigars options just like our counterparts. Being a business woman in a man’s world is definitely not easy and there is still discrimination and inequality. However, Sisters of the Leaf’s are growing daily and we are looking for cigar lounges and accessories that welcome and reflect us. I want the world to know that the cigar community is just that a community that should reflect both the masculine and feminine energy. People once called women smoking cigars a fade, but we should really call it a movement! Therefore, I would tell the cigar world to be prepared for more pinks, purples and animal prints!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Houston, Texas is definitely known for its eateries, especially brunch spots! There is a great place in Katy, Texas called, Astor Farm to Table. It serves great food from the regions of South Africa and Latin America. Kiss is an upscale venue that is always turned up! It has some of the best lamp chops, ever! After brunch Chapman and Kirby’s will never disappoint. I like it because we can always enjoy a cigar while listening to some great music. Speaking of great music, DJ Rheamarklable is always a turn up at Emit Cigars on Friday’s, Ladies night. Definitely check out Emit cigar lounge it’s great if you’re searching for a grown vibe. Stogies World Class Cigars, is laid back relaxing and chill vibe. Sweet Lips cigars is another cigar lounge that is great to visit while in Houston. The artwork on the walls is black and beautiful. There are so many places to visit in Houston to eat, drink and hang out that I haven’t had the chance to really explore yet, but I will soon.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, shout out to my family; especially my husband and children who have been super supportive in my quest for entrepreneurship. Being your own boss or running a business has so many twists and turns, there are no dull moments. They have endured the sacrifices and lack on many occasions to support my dream as a business owner. To my big cousin Dyron owner of “Big D’s mobile cigar lounge”, located in Tampa, Florida. Who introduced me to some of the best cigars and one of my first cigar entrepreneur mentors Desiree, owner of “Drunk Chicken Cigars”, thank you for always lending an ear When needed. To my girlfriends Chantel, Quianna, Cher and Ali, who started this cigar smoking journey with me. Thank you for our lady’s night out to Davidoff to talk about everything under the sun; being friends whom I could bounce my ideas off of and receive valuable feedback. If it had not been for those moments, Lipstick And Smoke may have not been born. To the beautiful Houston Cigar Community and my Houston Cigar Week family, a big thanks to all of you for welcoming me to my first cigar festival and taking me under your wings. To the Sister’s and Brothers of the Leaf that come out to show Lipstick and Smoke support while we are in your city, lounge or online, thank you. Thank you to the lounges that support me by carrying my products, Stogies Houston, Santa Barbara Cigars, and HerStixx in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Last but not least, a special thanks to Lipstick And Smoke Memphis, Cher for believing in my dream and being there to support me when I need you most. I am grateful for you all.

Website: www.lipstickandsmoke.com

Instagram: @lipstickandsmoke

Twitter: lipstickandsmoke

Facebook: lipstickandsmoke

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